Umm hi, I'm new here.

Just a lil' background, I've been playing guitar for 2-3 years now on and off so I would consider myself a novice or more advanced than that. Up till a few days ago I was still strumming a classical guitar. Yes. A classical. Please don't ask why...

Anyway last week the guitar started sounding weird. I had some cash so I decided to get a new one, an acoustic to be exact. Well I tried a few guitars around a few shops, mainly a Yamaha FG700S, F310 (yes, worlds apart I know), a Takamine D51SC, D50 and D21.

The Yamahas sounded really bad to me and I just found out how useless some sales people can be. The Dreadnought D50 sounded really nice but the sales people told me it was a solid top but the inside of the soundhole was painted black so I think it wasn't. According to the website, it's a laminate. So I took the D51SC (solid top and cutaway). It's a NEX body (mini jumbo) with a solid spruce top, mahogany sides and back, rosewood fretboard and some other stuff. It's in good condition and I changed the strings from PB D'Addarios to PB Martin SPs.

Now the problem is, the guitar sounds seriously thin or 'tinny'. It's loud and bright but just missing the depth. The bass sustain is longer than the treble but the treble is super loud. I brought it to a shop and they adjusted the truss rod and that helped but the sound is still generally the same. The gauge increased from 11 to 12 and that also helped but not a lot.

To cut things short, is there anyway to deepen or 'fatten' the sound? Even the crappy 10 year old laminate plastic fretboard acoustic guitar sounds better than this. Will the sound change with age as it's a solid top? Any recommended strings? No returning the guitar please. The shop doesn't allow it.


The guitar sounded good in the shop and I tuned it myself using standard tuning. This is really frustrating because it's an almost $300 guitar... I don't live in the US btw. Just converting currencies.
Last edited by synctium at Jan 26, 2009,
If your shop doesn't allow returning guitars, then you've just been stiffed. Those sly sales people will tell you anything to make a quick buck.
I'm that dude with the fro.
Quote by angus fan16
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I can't find anything about a Takamine D51SC, but I use 13 guage strings to enhance the bass response...

Also, new strings are always a little tinny at first...

Other than that, I don't know how to help you
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Quote by Musicman48858

Also, new strings are always a little tinny at first...

This. Brand new strings always sound extra bright and trebly.
If the tinny sound doesn't go away once the PB strings are broken in, then I'd suggest you try standard bronze composition strings. PB's can sound pretty sparkly on certain models of guitars. Another brand for you to think about that has a darker, more bassy sound to me are the Dean Markley Gold Bronze Alchemy's. The one and only time I used them all I could think of was darkness as I played my acoustic. Every aspect of the tone was dropped by putting those strings on. I really didn't like them so never tried them again.
Also, what material is the bridge saddle made of? If it's plastic then you might benefit from installing a bone saddle. Bone can enhance the tone of a guitar over plastic by a lot. It might be all you need to free up the tone you're looking for.
:P Yeah. The D series are only available in the Asia Pacific region. Its on


The site lists the regular variety not the one with the cutaway.

I actually got quite a good deal. About 60% off the very excellent gig bag.

I guess I shouldn't have gone for PB strings again but it was by a different company (Martin opposed to D'Addario) so I thought heck why not? The guy recommended Elixirs but the price tag was quite beautiful. I don't know how to accurately convert it but it was RM 79.00. Exchange rate is around maybe 3. something now. The Martin strings were around RM 33.60?

Well to argue the receipt doesn't say non-exchangeable but shops here generally have this non-spoken rule. I could try but then I don't know what else to pick. I don't really want another laminated top. Besides, they're closed for Chinese New Year (excuses, excuses eh?).

I think I would have been shortchanged if I didn't know how to check the guitar but I think I failed myself this time as the guitar really sounds odd.

Uh here's the thing. I'm not sure how long the guitar was hanging merrily on the wall in the shop. If someone comes by every once in a while to strum the guitar and they tune it every day, won't that break in the strings? The strings also had a spot of rust on them but that's unavoidable isn't it?

I think it's 12 gauge. I can't really tell if it made a difference over the 11s. Maybe I should go higher?

What strings other than the DM Alchemy's which I've never seen before? I read somewhere electric nickel strings would do the trick. I'm hesitant to try because I can't string it myself and they like to charge for restringing which is around RM 15. Not a lot to you guys, a lot to me where I live.

So how long will it take to break in the strings? I try to strum it everyday to break it in and grow the calluses. Any random string of chords sound okay but try to play a song and .

I think it's plastic. How much would a bone saddle cost?

So the big question is, is my guitar just incapable of producing deep bass tones? I would love to keep this one.

Sorry if I'm a bit long-winded but I really appreciate the help given!
first off, did they guitar sound better with the older strings? if so, then it is your strings, newer strings sound rather tinny until they get broken in. also, maybe it is the gauge of strings you are putting on, the guitar may not be set up for that guage strings, get your guitar set up properly when you buy a new one, because you never know who has played it and done something to it.

i doubt the guitar is a dud, i have always known takamine guitars to be of rather high quality.
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Pffffffft schematics

Although i guess the OP will have to get used to reading them if he's going to buy a bugera..
Quote by gregs1020

along with fire escape routes...

No not really. The strange thing is it sounded decent enough in the shop. I was the only one playing it and I tuned it myself. I think the no difference in sound thing is because both are phosphor bronze strings just different companies. After I brought it home the guitar sounded all thin.

I brought it to a different shop to change the strings and they adjusted the truss rod using the key. That helped a bit but the guitar still sounds really bright. I don't mind the brightness but when I strum the guitar it just loses all bass and I love a bassy sound. It sounds thin now but boy is it loud.

I don't think it's a dud either. The shop is a reputable shop and the guitar is really well-made. But if I take it back and they let me exchange it, there isn't another guitar there that is around that price range, sounds good and is a solid top.
Okay guys you know what? I'm just going to try to exchange it. I think the strings are breaking in now because they sound a bit bassier but I don't think I can stand this for the next few years.

I'm trying to get an Ibanez. Wish me luck?